The 2023 Public Lands Transportation Fellows Program provides paid opportunities to advance the transportation workforce by attracting our next generation of public stewards to the field of transportation— through unique opportunities for career development and public service on key visitor transportation issues. Fellows work closely under the coaching and mentoring of staff of Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs), such as the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to facilitate transportation planning or implementation projects for transportation solutions that preserve valuable resources and enhance the visitor experience. Through service at a unit or region/field office, fellows are invited to incite innovative change in our transportation systems and environmental lands management through significant contributions that advance cost-effective sustainability.
As a fellow, you will be an employee of the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University (MSU) Bozeman. Through WTI, you will be provided with an orientation, professional development opportunities, the ability to attend conferences to build a professional network, and a transportation mentor to provide you with guidance. Through USFWS or NPS, you will be provided with an onsite supervisor as well as a workspace and computer.
At the start of their assignment, fellows are provided with a detailed scope of work (SOW), including tasks, deliverables, and approximate work schedule to guide them throughout their assignment. This SOW includes the transportation priorities outlined by staff at the assigned location. Within the first few months of their assignment, fellows will be able to work with staff to suggest updates to this SOW based on their expertise, passions, and exploration of the refuge.
There are a total of six positions open for the 2023 PLTF cohort. This includes 3 positions supporting the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for 18 months each and 3 positions supporting the National Park Service at 24 months each. The detailed position descriptions can be downloaded below.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
o Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge – Marion, IL
o Desert National Wildlife Refuge – Las Vegas, NV
o Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex – Ridgefield, WA
National Park Service
o NPS Transportation Safety Fellow – Lakewood, CO or Bozeman, MT
o NPS Intermountain Region Planning & Visitor Use Fellow – Lakewood, CO
o NPS Midwest Region Climate Fellow – Omaha, NE
Find out more about the positions and program here: https://westerntransportationinstitute.org/professional-development/public-lands-transportation-fellows/transportation-fellows-application/
Transportation fellows who complete their assignment will be eligible for federal non-competitive hiring status for two years following the completion of their fellowship. The transportation fellow, with the help of their supervisor, must demonstrate that specific minimum hour work requirements have been met. Due to the requirements of the non-compete, all applicants to the program must:
• Be U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens of the U.S.;
• Be 30 years of age or under by the start date; and
• Have at least a Bachelor’s degree.
For applications to be eligible, they MUST include the following items:
• Completed employment application (found here https://westerntransportationinstitute.org/professional-development/public-lands-transportation-fellows/transportation-fellows-application/)
• Candidate statement that addresses the following in 1000 words or less:
interest in the program and preferred assignment(s)
interest in contributing to the Federal Lands
ability to adapt to new situations and people
relevant experience / knowledge / skills – do not be afraid to include something that does not seem to be “transportation” related as these other skills and experiences are often what makes applicants stand out
• Writing and/or graphics communication sample
Writing sample – the purpose of this submittal is to show us your technical writing skills.
Graphics communication sample – the purpose of this submittal is to show us your GIS skills, graphical skills, and/or marketing skills.
• Letter of recommendation from a current or past supervisor, academic advisor, or other person who can attest to your knowledge, skills, and character. (Letter can be sent directly to Jaime Sullivan at Jaime.email@example.com)